Exploring practitioners’ perceptions of risk when delivering Forest School for 3- to 5-year-old children

Button Joanna*, Alison Wilde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Forest School has grown in UK popularity, providing young children with opportunities for fun and risky play, and time in nature. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used to explore student practitioner and nursery practitioner perspectives about risk when delivering Forest School with pre-school children; participant views on risk were sought before and after engagement in five Forest School sessions. The study found that risk is a flexible term for early years practitioners. Whilst participants saw the benefits, there was also anxiety about upholding regulations or fear of blame. Additionally, practitioners’ perceptions of risk changed after the Forest School sessions, suggesting the more experience practitioners have, the less anxious they are about the risks of delivering Forest School sessions with young children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-38
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Play
Issue number1
Early online date4 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion keywords

  • Reduced Inequalities

Cite this